We’re Hmong trekking guides from Mung Hoa Valley, near the town Sapa. We grew up in these mountains and know the trails inside out. Our work is to guide people around this beautiful landscape and give them a good time. We prefer working independently and we’re very experienced when it comes to guiding people. All of us speaks English.
We are the only Female and Hmong owned trekking company in Sapa and are proud to operate a business that ensures all of our guides a fair salary and opportunities to grow in our community. With the help of our friends we have been able create business that can support ourselves and our families, but also ensure long term employment and security.
How it all Started
Sapa Sisters was started in 2009 by six friends: Radek Stypczynski, a painter and visual artist from Poland/Sweden, Ylva Landoff Lindberg (www.ylvalandofflindberg.com) , also an artist, with four Hmong women Lang Yan, Lang Do, Chi and Zao. Radek, having seen and heard first hand the difficulties of young Hmong women, in particular, finding decent jobs and wages in Sapa began collaborating with the Girls on a venture that could be self-sustaining and operated almost entirely independent of outsider assistance. The idea was simple: a Trekking company operated by the girls with no middle-man i.e. tourist operators or hotels; Radek would set up a website that could connect travelers with their guides as well as help communication between travelers and guides as the the girls cannot read or write English (although their spoken English is excellent)…
Once connected in Sapa, the guides work directly with travelers to choose custom itineraries around special interests and/or fitness levels from Sapa through the picturesque valley. Whether one day treks or multi-night adventures with home-stay accommodations, travelers experience one on one tours with their guides exploring indigenous hill tribes and the stunning landscapes that is the Sapa Valley. Sapa Sisters welcomes individuals, couples and honeymooner’s, small groups, family with young kids trips, and students on educational field trips.
The Sapa Sisters experience is genuinely unique and has been met with great success as evidenced by their glowing reviews in Trip Advisor and inclusion in Lonely Planet and Petit Fute. Sapa Sisters now employs up to 19 guides during peak season and is owned by the Hmong guides and Ylva.
Radek passed away tragically in 2011 but his vision and mission along with the founders of Sapa Sisters remains; a Hmong owned business that empowers and facilitates a safe place for the Sisters to work and live in a self-sustained operation. Since Radek’s passing Ylva Landoff Lindberg has taken the role of connecting travelers and the Sisters via the Sapa Sisters website.
Why Sapa Sisters is Important
SAPA SISTERS GUIDE
Lan may be the shortest Sapa Sister but she is definitely the strongest. No matter how steep or slippery the slope or how many days you trek, Lan will skip her way through the trek.
Lan is also an absolutely fantastic cook. If you pass her family’s house in the valley, she can invite you for a home cooked lunch. You buy fresh groceries in the small local shop and then you cook together or just sit back and enjoy watch a master-cook in action.